6.5 month old not showing any signs of settling in...(11 Posts)
Lovely DD is 6.5 months old and has always been quite "firmly attached", I think is the expression. I EBF'd and we cosleep a bit, she goes everywhere (with me) in a sling and we generally spend a lot of time just noodling around together quite happily.
I went back to work part time when she was 3 months and, apart from some problems with taking a bottle, she now has one very happy day a week with granny and one fairly happy day with daddy.
I have to go back to a 4 day week next month and have booked her in at nursery for the other 2 days. I'm confident it's a very good nursery; highly recomended by many people and right next to DH's work so all his friends send their kids there. The baby room is good, the staff nice, well qualified, it's all very well set up and gets a cracking offsted.
We have so far been for 3 x 1 hour settling sessions. It is not going well. There is an awful lot of sobbing, even when one of us is with her: I think a bit because it's bright and busy and noisy and we are quite a quiet household. I didn't get to mother and baby type things much as not my scene really, and now am worried I have created a problem for DD. I cannot imagine her managing 2 full days a week there next month and I don't know what to do! I really like the idea that nursery will give her lots of opportunities to do things and socialise that I can't give her, and I think it will be good for her, but I don't know how to get her to be .... robust?... enough to deal with it.
Am I being really selfish/naive here? I am wondering if maybe I should try and find a childminder instead, or get granny to do another day at least. Or should we hang in there and just tough it out?
Sorry - very long post. Any advice would be really appreciated.
I don't know if I will be of any help? Little one will settle in time.You are right it is a loud and busy place to be, of course they can't get the one to one attention that they are use to as there are other babies in the room, which of course as a parent you wonder how the staff manage with all those babies?
You should find that after a few heart breaking sessions of leaving DD crying her eyes out and you feeling the worst mother in the world, that she will settle it might take a few weeks or even a month? Of course DD is coming to the clingy stage anyway.....
give it a month maybe to see if she settles, then follow your gut instinct, only you know DD
Can you use a childminder instead? Then switch to a nursery when she's a bit older? At this age, socialising isn't that important so don't worry about that so much.
I'd find a cm if I were you. She's far too young to gain from the benefits of socialisation etc that nursery can offer and it sounds like a quieter, more personal environment would suit her.
Hunt around for a good cm for now and perhaps rethink when she's 2-3, when she will start to gain from the socialisation etc.
Toughing it out has it's place when they are older and can understand to a degree what's happening, but at 6 months, it's too young, imho.
My DS1 was just the same and went to a cm happily until starting preschool at 3. we 'toughed it out' when he started preschool but it only took 2-3 sessions and now he loves it and is desperate to go. Ds2 is a different character altogether and would happily go off with any random stranger! Do what's right for her
I agree., toughing it out at 6 months seems a little harsh. She isn't old enough to understand the concepts yet. DD1 went to nursery at 18 months and I think she understood - any earlier wouldn't have worked.
Anywhere you try and put your little one is going to be tough as as you have said she has never left your side so cm or nursery you are going to have the same problems at both but i always recomend a nursery as staff go on more courses, are generally higher trained, have more robust planning cycles (for when she is older) and have more staff and so have more collective experience to call on
If you are happy with the nursery and they are happy with your little one then continue at it its not going to harm her i promise and any good nursery staff team will have dealt with this before and will settle her soon and you will look back when she is older and runs into nursery at the time you worried about her not settling and for the time being try more tummy time and her being left to explore and not attached to a person all the time and that will help
I disagree with Sammich - sorry.
There's a big difference between the hustle and bustle of a nursery and the homely atmosphere of a good cm's home.
Your baby has left your side before - you say she currently spends time with Granny, and a day with your DH, so she is able to form attachments with people other than you.
Cm's are every bit as well trained as nursery staff and tend to be mothers themselves which makes a huge difference imho. A good one will understand that she needs more attention to begin with, and may be happy to carry her in a sling as you do.
I really believe that young babies are better off forming strong attachments to a select few people, rather than having to get used to a number of different people.
I'm not anti nurseries as such, I think they're great for many older toddlers and many babies adapt perfectly happily, but I hate this 'one size fits all' approach, that ALL babies will get used to nursery if you tough it out long enough, and that lots of crying is inevitable. It isn't and it shouldn't be.
And one more thing - if she's crying at the nursery even while you are there, it sounds like it's not so much an attachment issue, more that the noise and environment is too much at this stage.
Get thee to a CM!
Thankyou very much for your thoughts. I am, (of course!) still dithering. I think I'll try a few more sessions and see how they go, and start looking for a childminder in the meantime - cover all bases.
Hi Goldrill just wanted to say hi as I am in the same situation with my DD. She has had full-on constant attention from me for the whole 7.5 months of her life, I use a sling instead of a pram, we have a lovely happy time together. Today is her third day of settling in to nursery, it is a lovely one but the culture shock is hard for her (and for me to see her go through it). Yesterday she cried a lot and took a while to adjust back to her happy self back at home as well. I was really worried. And then today - a different experience altogether! She played happily, lay down for her sleep demurely, and ate the lunch they gave her. What a relief.
Like you, I'm going to see how it goes. I think it will be a good experience for her to be with other children (she loves looking at them) and to be looked after by these other (good, kind, professional, consistent) people. But it will seem like second best for a while, as she just won't get the intense one-to-one attention she's used to.
So I just wanted to send sympathy and support. Hope it goes well and you manage not to worry too much.
My DS was 8 months when I went back to work and like your DD had spent the majority of her life with me and family members. We had however been to a baby group once a week.
We had 3 1 hour settling in sessions. The first I stayed in and watched, the 2nd and 3rd I sat outside the room and listened to him cry and scream for about 1/2 hour before he settled. It was heartbreaking.
I knew he would settle eventually, it just takes time. Its a new environment and new people.
It only took 2 weeks (4 days in total) for him to happily be let go from my arms without a care in the world and crawl off with other babies. Yes I think it upset me more the first time that happened, but he LOVES nursery. He has come on such a long way, far better than I could have done. He loves being around other children, and is really socialable for it.
BUT you know your daughter and mothers instinct is best. She could easily be the same at the CM as well.
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